What are the chances your favorite pony was secretly a changeling all along?
Yeah, probably about one in one.
Benman belongs to a class of bipedal ape notable for its use of tools and clothing, highly adept at symbolic communication such as language and art.
So, new story. My first since 2013, actually. It might be my last.
I've been trying to find the right balance of how much effort to put into fulfilling my personal goals, and how much to put into improving the world. And the thing about writing is that you get out of it what you put into it—so yes, it's been unspeakably rewarding, but it also takes much more energy than, say, going out to a party. That's energy that hasn't gone into my larger goals. I've known this intellectually for approximately forever. A while ago, this started making sense on an emotional level, too. (My guess is that it's because I gained the ability to express my emotions without first writing an entire story.)
I'd been in the middle of revising this story with my prereaders. And then I sort of... stopped. I didn't feel great about leaving them hanging, but there was stuff to do, you know?
Well, I've had time to take stock lately, and I want to tie up some loose ends. The story may not be 100% perfect forever, but the important stuff is all there, and it's more than postable. And people have been asking if I got hit by a bus or something, so it seems wise to let everyone know what's up.
Maybe I'll be back, if I gain the ability to balance writing and working in a more stable way. But for now, at least, it's not my highest priority.
“An Imaginative Performance” Or “Expectations”: Apple Bloom has the lead role in her school play, and her performance will be perfect. No matter what.
The Tyrant And The Detective: Fetlock Holmes attempts to prove that Discord was responsible for sabotaging the Tree of Harmony. With the exemplar of deductive logic pitted against the draconequification of chaos in an epic battle of wits, only one thing is certain: There is absolutely no sexual tension. None whatsoever. Move along.
Tired From Chaos: I'm Worker. I can make anypony smile.
The Colour Quixote Bleeds In Their Highnesses' Clandestine Corps: The RCL decides to publish only Blueblood stories from now on.
Five Hundred Little Murders And What Came After: Now that the invading deer have been driven back, somepony needs to make sure they never threaten ponykind again. But when it comes time to do what must be done, no one has the courage to go through with it. No one except the strongest pony in the world.
Lost Cities Are Where The Harp Is: North of Canterlot, in the far marches of the Equestrian lands near the border with the Griffon tribes, there is a mountain that flies. It is covered in Smooze.
West of Canterlot, beyond the Galloping Mountains and a desert painted in the pastel hues of a faded rainbow, a tower sits at the edge of the world. It is covered in Smooze.
South of Canterlot, past the Everfree forest and the desolate badlands, a city of gardens waits to be born. It is covered in Smooze.
That's Allabaster: An aging Pinkie Pie forgets where she put Applejack's hat.
It Is My Fate To Fight For Cranberry Hill: It's winter, when snow covers the earth like frosting and the days are short and bright—the perfect time for a snowball fight! The Cutie Mark Crusaders tussle with Diamond Tiara and her accomplice, Typhon the Father of Monsters.
The Arbitrage of Monsters: Twilight Sparkle has a really bad day.
Thanks to Chris, I've been thinking about writing style recently. What is a style? Do I have one? Do I have more than one? How can I tell? “Thinking really hard about these questions” doesn't seem like a good way to get answers, since my most common problem as a writer is that I don't communicate the ideas I mean to communicate.
The thing I care about is what you, the reader, experience. My best idea to find out is to ask. So I'm doing that! Right now!
If you're familiar with at least a couple of my stories, then please let me know what you think my style is, or any other broad feedback you have on my writing. I've put hundreds of hours into writing these stories for you, and if you can take a couple minutes to give back, it would mean a lot to me.
You can leave feedback in the comments to this post, put them in a PM, tell me anonymously at this shiny page, track down my physical address and send a singing telegram, or whatever you like. I declare Crocker's Rules on everything I get this way. Please write feedback before reading this page's comments, to avoid accidental priming and conformity effects.
Since I'm asking you to do me a favor, it makes sense that I should do something for you, too. I will write a 500-1000 word story for one randomly-selected person who provides feedback. (Example, example.) Anonymous messages are eligible only if they include the prompt in the message itself, since obviously I can't get back to you. I'll pick the winner on Thursday, Dec 19, and try to have the story finished by Jan 1.
Thanks for helping me become a better writer!
I’m trying something a bit different with my latest story. This one is meant to stand on its own, but it’s also the first installment in a longer series I have planned. If I stick with it, I expect the whole project to be roughly novel-length. Just in case I don’t stick with it, each installment will be a self-contained story of its own, so you won’t be stranded at an awkward non-ending. (I don't read incomplete stories, so I tried to write something I'd want to read.)
I’m currently about a third of the way through The Weather Merchants, in which Bonfire learns a lesson about trust and I get to introduce you to Starling. Those of you who are following me will, of course, be notified when it gets posted.